University tuition fees in England are now the highest in the world, new analysis has found.
The average annual cost of £9,188, makes it significantly more than higher education in the US, where the average student pays $9,410 (£7,518) per annum, according to the Student Loan Calculator website.
Students in England are also paying significantly more than their peers in other European countries.
In France, annual fees amount to the equivalent of just £346, while universities in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Austria also charge less than £1000 per year.
Several countries, including Scotland and much of Scandinavia, do not charge any fees at all.
However, England has many more world-leading universities than other European nations.
Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London – rank in the planet's top 10. The rest are all in the United States, apart from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
France, Spain, Italy and Portugal have no universities in the world's top 50, according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Tuition fees were introduced by the Labour government in 1998 and were initially based on a student’s financial circumstances.
The cap was raised to £3000 in 2004 and then trebled to £9000 by the Conservative, Liberal Democrat coalition government, which insisted only the best universities would be allowed to charge the highest fees.
Last year the Government announced university costs would be raised again – to £9,250.
The Department for Education told The Independent it was checking the latest analysis.